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Bobcats 115, Warriors 111: Charlotte Earns Biggest Win Yet

Golden State Warriors 111 FinalRecap | Box Score 115 Charlotte Bobcats
Josh McRoberts, PF 34 MIN | 4-7 FG | 2-3 FT | 10 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | +7

McRoberts is terrific at smoothing out this team’s rougher edges. Between his passing, rebounding, three-point shooting and solid defense, Josh did a little bit of everything on Monday night.

Anthony Tolliver, PF 34 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +14

A little too passive, especially on a night when they could have used his shooting, but Tolliver picked the right moment to show up. A huge three-pointer with five minutes to go pushed the Bobcats’ lead to 10, and they’d need every single one of those points to close things out.

Al Jefferson, C 35 MIN | 5-16 FG | 1-2 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | +5

There were hints of “Black Hole” Jefferson tonight, as he settled for a few too many long jumpers and forced shots inside. The defense was spotty, too, with the Warriors’ guards getting too many open looks at the rim in the fourth quarter. The rebounds were nice, at least.

Kemba Walker, PG 37 MIN | 10-18 FG | 9-11 FT | 5 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 31 PTS | -3

There’s nothing more entertaining than when Kemba goes supernova. Walker struggled in the first half, going 1-of-5 for four points, then returned as a different player. He scored 12 in the third, then quickly managed to top that. Walker checked in with 6:50 to play in the fourth and scored the team’s final 15 points, including a back-breaking three in Stephen Curry’s face. Walker has struggled this year, but games like this remind you of his potential.

Gerald Henderson, SG 37 MIN | 11-23 FG | 2-3 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 24 PTS | -6

Henderson’s shooting touch left him as the night went on, but he played a big part in building an early lead. At halftime, Gerald was 7-for-10 for 14 points, and was the only Bobcat in double digits. He would have had a better grade except for his ugly fourth quarter, going 0-for-5 when Charlotte needed to hold their advantage.

Jeff Adrien, PF 13 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -1

Adrien did exactly what he needed to, pulling down a very solid seven rebounds in 13 minutes. He’s a nice option off the bench with Biyombo hurt, and always brings a good energy to the floor.

Cody Zeller, C 14 MIN | 2-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | -3

Zeller seemed more aggressive after a productive game on Friday, but he still hasn’t caught up with the pro game. He’s starting to mix in more drives to the basket, but his dribble is usually out of control, or he throws the ball away when he can’t get a shot. Still, working on and improving those drives are better than settling for clanked 20-footers.

Ramon Sessions, PG 21 MIN | 4-10 FG | 5-5 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | +2

Sessions’ ability to play shooting guard for stretches came in handy due to all the injured wings. Having Ramon off the bench to score and settle down the second unit is one of Charlotte’s biggest luxuries, and they usually need a good night from him to compete against the league’s top teams.

Ben Gordon, SG 14 MIN | 4-9 FG | 3-3 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | +5

Every game is a roller coaster with Ben Gordon, and we got both the good and the bad. The good ended up being more important, though, as Gordon had a crucial late-game three-pointer to help stave off a Warriors run.

Steve Clifford
Terrific job by Clifford to manage the lineup in the absence of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Jeff Taylor and Bismack Biyombo. No one even had to play over 40 minutes.

Four Things We Saw

  1. Stephen Curry had 43 points, and recovered well from a poor first half. Late in the game, the Bobcats were throwing double teams at him and forcing the ball out of his hands. Despite a good night from Klay Thompson (22 points on 9-of-19 shooting), the other Warriors couldn’t take advantage.
  2. The Bobcats won the turnover battle, giving it up seven times compared to 15 by the Warriors. That was despite a higher tempo than usual, and some Walker-Sessions-Henderson small-ball lineups that tended to get chaotic. Good job by the ball-handlers.
  3. Charlotte played wonderful defense in the first half, holding the high-scoring Warriors offense to 41 points on 35 percent shooting. A little bit of that was luck, with Golden State shooting 1-for-12 from three, but everyone needs a few friendly bounces. After 21 games, I think it’s safe to say this team’s defense is legitimate.
  4. This is the Bobcats’ first victory over a team with a winning record, and their biggest win so far.